Jigs and Trailers: What and When


Jigs and trailers are the most versatile, productive lures to use for all species. While there are a lot of styles available, I use three basics that work for most conditions: the spin jig (Road Runner), standard jig head (B-Fish-N Precision H20) and skirted (Blitz Spyder).

As for trailers, it is difficult to pin down all that are used, but my favorites are Berkley’s Power Minnow, Twitch Tail Minnow, Ripple Shad, Finesse Worm (4 and 6 inch), Chigger Craw, Havoc Pit Boss and Deuce, Mann’s Jelly Worm, Auger Frog, Auger Grub and Sting Ray Grub and B-Fish-N’s 4-inch Ringworm and K-Grub. A third component is Kick’n Bass Attractant in Anise Shad, Crawfish and Crappie.

From left to right: Pit Boss Jr., Blitz Spyder Finesse Jig with a Black Auger Frog for fishing weedlines, brush and riprap and a White Spyder Finesse Jig rigged with a Pearl/Frog Auger Frog for swimming.

The following is a breakdown for each head, when to use them and with what trailer.

Spin jig
The standard and Casey’s Road Runner heads are used when fish are feeding on baitfish and when a slower presentation or a bit of flash is needed. The blade also disturbs the water, creating noise and bubbles. Since the main target is representing baitfish, the trailer choice is simple—something that is a minnow-type body like the Power Minnow, Twitch Tail and Ripple Shad. The 1/4-ounce Casey’s Head, with its larger blade and hook, goes with the 3- and 4-inch minnows for bass and large crappies, while the standard heads in smaller sizes can use the smaller 2-inch minnows.

I’ll also use the Casey’s Head with a Deuce for when fish are feeding on frogs. The action of the two legs is a big attention- getter that produces some pretty hard strikes.

As for the scent, I recommend the Anise Shad for most applications, with the Kick’n Crappie for when panfish are the target, but these scents can work both ways.

Also, the spin jig can be an ideal substitute for a regular spinnerbait, while adding the versatility of swimming a jig.

Standard jig head
B-Fish-N’s Precision H20 heads are available in many sizes that are different. For example, there are off-sizes such as a 3/32-ounce, which is one of my favorites for my “finger-jigging” technique with a 2-inch Power Minnow or Ripple Shad.

If there are a large amount of leeches, I like using a smaller size head with a 4-inch Mann’s Jelly Worm or Power Finesse worm. It is worked with an up and down swimming motion to give the best waving tail action. Also, with the Jelly Worm it is best to turn it sidewise to make the tail flat, but if you’re using it in a situation to simulate baitfish, the tail should be turned so it sets vertically, like a fish tail.

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These jig heads are the most versatile, and will use all of the trailers mentioned above. Use the crawfish styles for areas with crawfish, the Auger Frog and Deuce in areas with frogs and any of the flat or swim-tail grubs where baitfish are the main source of food.

The attractant will be as expected: Crawfish where a jig is representing a crawfish, Anise Shad for baitfish activity and Crappie for panfish and also where baitfish activity is found for the bass. Where it is representing leeches or frogs, I will vary the scent, and sometimes combine the Shad and Crawfish scents.

Skirted jig
My skirted jig selection of a Blitz Spyder Jig is twofold: standard Arkey in 1/4 and 3/8 ounce and Finesse in 1/8 ounce. Skirted types are used when more bulk, visibility, attraction and water disturbance is needed; they will also hold scent longer.

I like swimming all of these sizes, especially the Finesse with an Auger Frog or 3-inch Power Minnow—this would be for fish feeding on baitfish and smaller frogs. If crawfish were on the fish’s menu, then I would use the Pit Boss Jr. This is especially effective along riprap and weedlines. Swimming along weed tops and letting it drop off the edge or into holes can be deadly. Even large crappies will take a whack at a Finesse Jig with a Power Minnow.

The larger-sized jigs are used more when the water is off-color like on the Mississippi River, fishing heavy rock areas as on many reservoirs like Bull Shoals, Norfork and Table Rock lakes and flipping/pitching heavy brush and wood cover. With this I’ll use all of the larger crawfish-simulating trailers, such as Chigger Craw, Pit Boss and Deuce.

Again, the selection of Kick’n Bass Attractant is the same as for the aforementioned standard jig head. My favorite for the skirted jig is Crawfish scent, and will be used most of the time. However, if I had only one scent to use for any of the jigs and trailers mentioned, it would be the Anise Shad—it has proven to confidently help catch many fish on a variety of lures.

If there were just one set of lures to be taken on an outing it would be jigs with trailers. These are versatile in every way, making them a top-producing lure. So, fill up a tackle box with jigs and trailers, learn the proper way to use a few retrieves like the crawl, swim, finger-jig and hop, and discover some great fishing for several species.

If you have any further questions about this or any other fishing subject, drop me a line through the Dan’s Fish ‘N’ Tales® website at dansfishntales.com, or Facebook page at facebook.com/dansfishntales.